Friday, September 21, 2012

Reading, Writing, Math Oh My!

Our second full week of school has gone very well.  We are getting used to the classroom routines and new expectations of first grade!  I am so proud of how hard all of my students are working each and every day.

English Language Arts or ELA is almost in full swing.  We are still practicing our routines for Daily 5 and got up to 12 minutes in Read to Self just yesterday.  We are practicing working quietly now so when guided reading officially starts the students know what they need to do during that time.  Here are the anchor charts I created for each of the Daily 5 focus areas to post in the classroom Here .

Next week we will be assessing reading levels and forming guided reading groups.  I will be sending home tips for reading with your child as well as comprehension questions to ask your child when reading both fiction and nonfiction texts.

I am so excited about writing this year!!  The students are working so hard ALREADY!  I found this chart on Zeek's Zoo blog and made one for my classroom.  Each student wrote their name on a post-it and stuck it on the "Use finger spaces between words" area (orange).  We have had lessons practicing what proper spacing looks like and then they would have time to write themselves.  I looked through all the writing they have done so far and put an orange star on their paper if they met the goal.  If they met the goal then they will be able to move to the green area to work on "Capital letters to start my sentences."  Their name will stay in the orange until they meet the goal of finger spacing. 



It is hard to see the finger spacing on this writing piece, but I also wanted to point out the detail in the illustrations.  We are really focusing hard on adding detail not only our writing, but pictures as well.  We have a rubric posted on our wall of what a score of 4 looks like.  You would not believe how hard my class strives to get that score of 4!   We went created the rubric together to show what a score of 1 looks like (writing and illustrations are scored together), what a 2 looks like, and what a 3 and 4 looks like. 

It also helps that my daughter is in first grade so I bring in her writing pieces as anchor papers and we give her suggestions about how she can improve her illustrations (what details she should add) and grammar (capital letters, punctuation). 

Here is our most recent math homework/game for this week.  If you did not bring this homework home this week you will get it next week.  This week you would have had the dot cards.  This activity is great for your child to work on addition skills in a fun way.  Your child will roll two dice, add up the sum, and then color in that number of squares with one color and you will do the same with another color.  The person with the most colored squares is the winner.  When playing with your child notice how they are adding.  Are they counting all the dots on both dice?  Are they seeing the number on one die and then counting up the other number?  Does it seem like they look at both numbers and then add quickly?  Ask them how they are getting a total.  This will help them understand what strategy they are using and give you an opportunity to give them suggestions to add more efficiently.  If they count all then have them name the number on one die, cover up those dots, and then have them count up from the other die.  For example, if they roll a 2 and a 3 have them name 3, cover up that die, and have them count on 4, 5. 

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Parker

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